Lemon Cakes With Basil Lemon Syrup Recipe

Lemon Cakes With Basil Lemon Syrup


For cake:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons matzo cake flour (or finely ground matzo meal in food processor) plus additional for dusting - if not for passover, use regular cake flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4.5 large egg yolks
  • 4.5 large egg whites (yes, I know, 4.5?! it’s tricky, just do your best in judging) The separated eggs should be at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

For syrup

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (4- by 1-inch) strip fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 16 large fresh basil sprigs

For whipped cream

  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • sugar to your liking -1 tsp vanilla

Garnish: small fresh basil leaves

How to make Lemon Cakes With Basil Lemon Syrup

I made this for a Passover Seder the other day and it was a hit! First time working with matzo meal and it came out allright, although I would love to try it with regular cake flour. The syrup is amazing - probably good in a vodka drink as well.


  1. Bring all syrup ingredients to a boil, covered, in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove lid and boil 10 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Cool to room temperature. It can also be used as a glaze for veggies or even on some savory crepes. Makes a lot of syrup.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush 12 muffin cups with some of melted butter and chill 2 minutes, then butter again and chill 1 minute more. Dust cups with matzo cake flour, knocking out excess.

  2. Beat together softened butter, 1cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with a mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until well blended. Beat in lemon juice and 2 teaspoons zest until combined. Add flour and mix at low speed until just combined. Place in a large bowl.

  3. Clean up the mixer bowl and beater(s) and beat whites with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until they hold soft peaks. Add 3 tablespoons sugar, a little at a time, beating, then beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of whites into dough mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

  4. Spoon batter into 12 prepared muffin cups. Blend remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and zest with your fingertips and sprinkle over batter, then bake until cakes are puffed, edges are golden, and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 25-32 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then lift out cakes carefully. I kept them in the oven on a warm setting because I thought they would be better warmed up with the syrup.


  1. Make whipped cream by beating the chilled cream in a chilled mixer bowl with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.


  1. Place a lemon cake on a plate and place some whipped cream on the side. Drizzle with the syrup and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy!
  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    you combine the most interesting things. basil + lemon to make a syrup then there was the chocolate + zucchini bread.. you must be uber creative!

  • Judy
    Judy says

    Wowww. It does sound really interesting - I wanna taste!

  • rockchick
    rockchick says

    Thanks for the compliments! I'm working up an orange+rosemary syrup for something else soon...just wait!

  • Mauro
    Mauro says

    Mis felicitaciones, realmente espectacular.

  • stepcaeser
    stepcaeser says

    This recipe is nearly word for word that found on epicurious, submitted by Marcy Goldman in April 2005 (even down to the refrigerating the matzo meal dusted cupcake pan twice); I guess since she published it for free its no big deal to duplicate it, but how about the credit?

  • stepcaeser
    stepcaeser says

    ( I meant the buttered cupcake pans)

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